COVID-19 Justice

Judge says no to extra CARES money for private schools

A judge has blocked Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos' plan to direct extra COVID relief money to private schools.

A federal judge on Wednesday granted Michigan’s request to halt efforts to give extra coronavirus relief funds to private schools in the state.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is a long-time proponent of private schooling and efforts to defund public education, especially in Michigan.

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U.S. District Judge James Donato of the Northern District of California ruled that DeVos doesn’t have the “authority to impose (her) own conditions” on coronavirus relief funding.

The CARES Act, passed by Congress in March to help people, businesses, and states hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, set aside about $16 billion for K-12 schools. DeVos sought to change the way the money would be allocated in order to disproportionately benefit private schools.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel argued that DeVos’ efforts would harm public schools. Judge Donato agreed, in a ruling that will also affect seven other states as well as the District of Columbia and four municipal school districts that were part of the suit.

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